Could a Live Action Pokémon Movie Be in the Works?

Pokémon is a series that has captured generations as they fight to become the Pokémon master, and with the 20th Anniversary bringing back classic games and cards, it doesn’t come as a surprise when you look at the impact that the popular series has had that there are discussions about a live action Pokémon movie in the works.

The reports come from the Hollywood Reporter who state that right now a “top-secret” (secrets out now people) auction is going on for the rights to make a live-action film of the franchise, with companies like Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros both apparently making a move for the rights while they go against the likes of console rival Sony for the movies rights.

With many live action films for video games getting bad or mixed reviews, with the likes of DOOM and Tomb Raider often causing smiles or tears, it would be interesting to see if such a popular franchise could break the ice in the world of cinema, a move that could even break open the door for other video game franchises such as the Metro 2033 film that could soon be hitting the big screen.

Are you excited about the film? Would you like to see Ash (or Red) conquer the Pokémon world or would you like to see a new character join the franchise amongst the hundreds of pocket monsters that you need to now capture to become a Pokémon master?

Nintendo NX May Feature 14nm Polaris GPU

Battered on both the CPU and GPU fronts, consoles have been one of the few areas AMD has managed to outplay the competition. With competitive CPU and GPU architectures in one platform, AMD was able to secure Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft’s current-gen consoles. Nintendo is also set to continue to use AMD chips for the Nintendo NX console and that device will reportedly use a 14nm Polaris like GPU.

From previous rumours, we’ve already learned that the Nintendo NX will use an x86 architecture chip paired with at least 6-8GB OF DDR4. What more, the new console will also feature 4K support via upscaling, streaming media and likely playback as well. To wrap it all up, AMD is reportedly supplying Nintendo with a 14nm Polaris-like GPU for their upcoming console. This is similar to how the PS4 and Xbox One used GPUs that were a merger of GCN 1.1 and 1.2. The Nintendo NX may use a something beyond the GCN 4 that is Polaris.The OS also will use Vulkan as it’s graphics API.

With a strong Polaris chip on 14nm, Nintendo will have a chance at seizing the performance crown for once. Nintendo consoles have proven weaker generally and have suffered from lesser third-party support as a result. With 4K support, the NX may well match the PS4K and the rumoured replacement for the Xbox One. Hopefully, we will finally get 1080p 60FPS with decent graphics on consoles soon enough.

Next Generation of Consoles Could See “Imminent” Launch

Consoles come in stages, from the PS2, Gamecube and Xbox to the Ps4, Wii and Xbox One, consoles are always launched around the same time leading to a large hype in people’s purchases as new games and technologies are revealed to the gaming community. According to the COO of GameStop, the new consoles could see “imminent” launch.

The statement was made during GameStop’s 2016 Investors Day, the companies Chief Operating Officer said that the company was happy to see new technologies being introduced, stating that things like virtual reality may play a big part in the next generation of consoles. Even going so far as to say that the rumoured new console could see an “imminent” launch.

This news shouldn’t be overly large, with companies like Nintendo constantly hinting at the NX while rumours were spread about the Playstation 4 getting an upgrade to run 4K content. With no word from companies regarding when or what the next consoles would officially feature, all we have is rumours and suggestions from fans and “sources”, including ones that point to upgradable versions of the Xbox consoles hardware.

With the last generation of consoles being released back in 2013 featuring the Wii U, Xbox One and PS4, gaming and technology has come a long way since then with virtual reality and 4K content becoming more than just an occasional venture, leading people to hope that the latest steps in technology will soon be released to the console gaming market.

Nintendo’s Miitomo App Has Over 4 Million Users Monthly

Nintendo’s first foray into the realm of smartphone apps, Miitomo created a lot of fuss when it was first released last month. Even so, it managed to garner a surprisingly sizable userbase for a simple app based around Nintendo’s “Mii” characters, with SurveyMonkey estimating that over 4 million users who use the app at least once a month and as many as 1 million who use it daily.

Miitomo itself is an unusual experience, seeming more like a Mii-based social interaction platform than something that would truly be considered a game. The main focus of the app centers around the user-created Mii representation of themselves (or in many cases not), being able to answer questions, communicate with friends and take pictures with the Mii overlaid.

Even though at this early stage of its life, such a large amount of monthly users likely includes the curious who may never use it again, Miitomo is continuing to attract more users. Over the last week alone, Miitomo can be estimated to have had as many as 2.6 million downloads, being a constant fixture in the top downloaded lists on both Apple’s app store and the Google Play Store and having an average of 370,000 downloads every day. The demographic is split slightly towards Apple, with 2/3 of users being on Apple’s iOS and the remainder on Android.

Meanwhile, it may not be the most profitable of Nintendo’s ventures, but Miitomo is estimated to be making them $40,000 per day across both platforms, with the majority of this revenue coming from iOS users. This gives it an ARPDAU (Average Revenue Per Daily Active User) of 3-4 cents, which is respectable for a very casual mobile experience.

Whether Miitomo has the power to stay popular remains to be seen, but in coming weeks the true retention rate of the app could be discovered. Only time will tell whether Miitomo was Nintendo’s 15 minutes of mobile fame or a lasting force on the mobile platform, giving them reason to bring fully fledged Nintendo games to mobile.

Real Handgun Transformed into Nintendo Zapper

A US company has transformed a Glock pistol into a Nintendo Zapper, the light gun used with NES classic Duck Hunt. The makeover, though, is merely cosmetic; rather than turning the semi-automatic pistol into a light gun, it remains a standard handgun, only with a nifty repaint.

Images of the modified gun came to light after being shared by Texas-based machine prototype Precision Syndicate LLC, who created the custom gun for an unnamed customer, on its Facebook page. “Finally… We were waiting for someone to let us do this,” the post reads. “We weren’t the first to do it but WOW, this glock turned out good!”

The Nintendo Zapper first launched in 1984, allowing NES gamers to aim and shoot at their TV screen, most famously in Duck Hunt:

https://youtu.be/EaPs_SLO-88

While the design itself is impressive, some people have taken exception to a lethal weapon being made to appear like a toy.

“I hope Nintendo lawyers shut this s*** down,” one Facebook commenter wrote. “This is NOT within the ideals of the company (Nintendo actually asks game designers to tone down violence because its audience is the entry market… Aka, young children). These guys need to grow the f*** up.”

“The fact that this exists is why cops don’t have the time to make the decision of its a toy or a gun,” another complained.

Precision Syndicate responded to criticism, posting the following to Facebook:

Glock Made To Look Like Nintendo Zapper

What happens when real weapons meet light guns? A Texas firearms manufacturer has taken a Glock and made it look like a Nintendo Zapper, a light gun from an age past.

The Nintendo Zapper shipped with Nintendo Entertainment Systems back in the 1980’s, featuring the classic two-tone greys and red writing that marked every single Nintendo console for a generation.

Precision Syndicate of Midland, Text are the ones to have created the custom design, posting on Facebook their finished work, with the overall results gaining a few mixed results from people.

One commentator has said that while they are “all for gun rights” they are a little hopeful that this particular model is “going in a case somewhere for display only”, others have been more aggressive saying that gun lovers could undo what “Nintendo tried to avoid doing back in its day”, with fears about video game violence raising questions about if putting digital guns in people’s hands would only cause more violence.

Others have defended the action, saying that the Nintendo Zapper is so old if someone was to carry it, people would automatically recognise it as a real firearm and not one of the original zappers. Either way, it has raised questions about how similar you can make a fake gun to a real one and about the reversal, turning real guns into fantasy looking models.

Nintendo Copyright Claim Removes 3D Zelda Tribute

Nintendo’s attitude towards their dedicated fan-base paying homage to the company’s previous works is nothing short of appalling. They’ve consistently launched copyright claims against YouTuber hobbyists simply trying to showcase what made their favourite games so special. Instead of admiring this level of passion, the company feels the need to flag anything which uses their intellectual property. In some cases, this makes sense if the game is episodic and people can watch a playthrough instead of purchasing it through legitimate channels. However, Nintendo is applying this kind of behaviour to NES, SNES and other classics to push their own overpriced Virtual Console store.

Only three days ago, a new project came to fruition designed to honour the 30th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. This allowed players to enjoy the game through a web browser and looked absolutely stunning. Sadly, Nintendo didn’t approve and believed this infringed on their intellectual property. It’s clear that the creation breaches copyright, but it’s just a small team trying to share the magic of the Zelda series. The project creators, Scott Lininger and Mike Magee announced the news on zelda30tribute.com which reads:

“Nintendo asked us to remove this site for copyright infringement. I guess Zelda30Tribute was a little too pixel perfect. We’re sad about that, but we get it. We started this project because we love Nintendo and the joy they have given us throughout the years. From the start of development, we knew this result could potentially happen. Nintendo has every right to protect their IP. No complaints from us, we had a blast working on this tribute and made some friends along the way.”

Of course, Nintendo are well within their rights to protect intellectual property. On the other hand, it comes across very poorly given the game’s age. Furthermore, it’s a terrible way to treat loyal fans showcasing their creative abilities. Nintendo desperately needs to adapt to the modern world and encourage community content as a way of indirect marketing.

The Nintendo NX is Rumoured to Have 4K Support

Nintendo’s upcoming console, codenamed ‘NX’, has been the subject of numerous rumours from multiple sources who apparently know confidential details about the system’s key features. Reports have suggested Nintendo will adopt the X86 architecture and be a handheld/home console hybrid. Other leaks indicate it might even use the latest version of Android. The latest rumour was originally posted on Reddit but the author has since decided to remove the post. Thankfully, MyNintendoNews managed to save the details which are listed below:

  • The retail name for the NX is unknown to developers (or they are holding back). I’ve asked multiple sources.
  • I know of at least 1 third-party Wii U game that has/have been successfully ported to NX.
  • Amiibo are still supported (if you hadn’t already guessed).
  • Friend codes are still a thing (unfortunately).
  • I don’t know when the NX will be announced. Speculation is this month.
  • There are multiple “gimmicks” with the NX, one is optional.
  • There are physical dev-kits out in the wild, I don’t have access to these.
  • I don’t know the model of the GPU, however there is little doubt (from what I’ve been told) that it an AMD.
  • The NX is capable of outputting 4k. Consensus is upscaling and streaming.
  • DDR4 Memory (between 6GB – 8GB). EDIT: Available to software.

Apparently, the NX will support 4K, but the games will not natively run at this resolution. It’s not overly surprising given the graphical horsepower required to push so many pixels. Honestly, I’m really concerned by the claim of multiple “gimmicks” because history dictates similar measures proved to be unpopular. While the Wii U gamepad is a novel idea, I found it uncomfortable for prolonged periods. On another note, the Wii remote didn’t really add anything to core games and felt extremely unnecessary. I think it’s important for Nintendo to innovate but create something which doesn’t have any gimmicks.

Of course, this is from an unverified source so it’s vital to take these claims with a pinch of salt.

This 24 Carat Gold NES Will Set You Back a Whopping $5,000

The Nintendo Entertainment System revolutionized the video game industry and instigated a new era of incredibly successful home consoles. Even though the Atari 2600 had its charm, the games were quite primitive and overly simplistic. In contrast to this, the NES was home to a number of iconic franchises including Mario, Zelda, Contra, Kirby and more! Evidently, Nintendo’s innovation helped forge the modern gaming industry and many of their creations are still just as popular today. For example, retro collectors often browse auction sites to acquire NES titles, or attend conventions to try to acquire their favourite games at respectable prices.

To honor the 30th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, console maker Analogue has unveiled a 24-carat gold NES console. In a similar vein to their other projects, the company creates a new NES instead of refurbishing the original model. As you might expect, the extremely high gold value has a marked impact on the retail price and there’s only 10 units available. This isn’t surprising when you consider the staggering $5000 price point which also comes with a gold-plated Legend of Zelda cartridge. So what are you waiting for? Oh right, the absurd cost! Of course, this is intended to be the ultimate addition to a Nintendo aficionado’s collection and individuals who purchase retro games are renowned for spending huge sums of money.

It’s not uncommon for certain rare titles to cost above $1000, and many collectors see these as an investment for the future. The NES is an absolutely fantastic piece of video game history but I’d personally prefer to own the original hardware instead of a gold-plated modern alternative. The price really is mind-blowing and I’m interested to see how many units the company can shift. I’m met some very passionate Nintendo fans but I’m pretty doubtful that any of them would even consider this unusual creation.

More Rumors Are Unveiled Regarding The Nintendo NX

Nintendo’s upcoming console has been the subject of numerous reports, leaks and even an elaborate hoax which many believed was a genuine source. Reports have suggested the NX will be a hybrid handheld/home console device offering greater performance than the PlayStation 4. However, it’s incredibly difficult to know what the real truth is because patents don’t always come to fruition. They’re concepts, and a way of protecting prototyped ideas. Whatever the case, the rumor mill is bound to continue until Nintendo makes some kind of official unveiling. The latest rumour comes from Reddit user, untypedhero who claims:

“As promised, I’ve decided to share some more NX information with you. This is second-hand information from trusted sources (like last time) and I have little reason to doubt its validity.

Here you go:

  • x86 architecture.
  • Backup data to Nintendo server (most likely My Nintendo).
  • Support for additional screen.
  • Can handle ports of current-gen games.
  • Will be able to interact with smartdevice apps.
  • Using NX software will unlock My Nintendo reward points.”

As always, it’s important to adopt a sceptical attitude especially when the information comes from one source. However, according to a moderator, the user’s background and credibility has been verified:

“This user has been verified by the mod team. We have confirmed that he has connections to Wii U developer(s) and/or development hardware and very likely has knowledge about the NX via those same connections. This verification is sort of general/open-ended and I unfortunately cannot verify specific details on a point by point basis.”

The X86 architecture would make porting of current generation games fairly simple and help forge the NX’s third-party library. This is essential when you consider how much Nintendo struggled to attract third-party developers on the Wii U. Hopefully, Nintendo will divulge some official information soon to stop the constant flow of leaks from various sources.

Nintendo NX Controller Was a Fake – Here’s How It Was Done

Earlier this week, a programmer, claiming to be in possession of the Nintendo NX dev kit, revealed photos purporting to be the controller for the new console (above), the design of which certainly matched a patent Nintendo filed last year, and the object itself appeared of a high build quality. The leaker – Frank Sandqvist, posting under the name kankki, Senior Project Lead, NX Hardware Design at Nintendo of Europe –  has subsequently revealed on Friday morning that the controller is a fake, writing on NeoGAF:

“I made this fake. Let’s see if I just got myself banned.”

He then posted a link to a YouTube video, exposing how he created the fake controller:

Sandqvist – inspired by a similar hoax the previous week – created the black, button-less gamepad using a copy of the Nintendo controller patent, some nifty CAD skill, and a 3D printing lab. The printed body of the controller was then primed, painted, and decorated with a shiny front plate, shoulder wheels, and a ‘confidential property’ sticker. It sure seems like a lot of work for a hoax that lasted little more than a few days, but it certainly had some fooled.

“When I saw that Photoshopped/rendered white fake, I thought it looked quite easy to reproduce, albeit with a switched-off display,” Sandqvist told Digital Trends. “So that same night I started modeling it up in Autodesk Fusion 360. And I thought it would be interesting to see if I could fool the Internet. At the same time, I guess it could stand as a reminder to people that you can’t really believe these kind of leaks nowadays with the rise of 3D printing.”

Wii U Production Could Cease Before the End of the Year

Despite boasting a number of games such as Smash Bros and Splatoon, the Wii U has struggled for sales throughout its lifespan, which could now be coming to an early end according to a report published in the Japanese newspaper Nikkei. Their article explains that Nintendo is planning to cease production of their current home console before the end of 2016, which may just be set to line up with the release of their upcoming console currently known as the NX.

When it launched in 2012, the Wii U had a one year advantage in release date compared to its competitors, Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. Despite this, the Wii U has only managed to sell 12.6 million units worldwide, a figure which is dwarfed by the PS4’s 36 million sales and predecessor, the Wii, shipping over 100 million systems between 2006 and 2013. The main issue that the Wii U faced was that it lagged behind its competitors in both graphical power, online capabilities and support from third-party developers. Added to this was scepticism over the usage of the tablet-like gamepad controller, with the only real advantage left for the Wii U was its lineup of quality games from Nintendo themselves, which clearly wasn’t enough to drive sales alone.

Despite its weakness in the home console department this generation, Nintendo’s handhelds are still going strong and Nintendo’s first foray into mobile development, Miitomo, saw the company’s stocks jump as it topped the Japanese app store’s free download charts.

There has been no word on how the end of production of the Wii U will affect its availability to retailers and no further word on the release of the NX has been given despite this news. Was the Wii U your favourite console this generation and are sad to see it go, or do you think Nintendo are doing the right thing to cut their losses and move on with the NX?

Nintendo NX May Contain Kinect-Like Features

Rumours galore surround the Nintendo NX, the successor to the Wii U. Now it seems like another one has come forward thanks to a patent showing off what seems to be Kinect-like features.

Nintendo took the console market by storm when it released the Wii back in 2006. Featuring motion controllers through the Wii remotes, the console saw entire families playing bowling together in their sitting room and racing around tracks with Luigi and Mario against the grandparents. Since then several consoles have used similar methods to achieve motion capture gameplay, from the use of light orbs to accelerometers in controllers the consoles have experienced an influx of movement related gameplay features. The Kinect took it to a whole new level and it looks like a similar method could be used to take the NX that little bit further.

The Kinect used cameras to not only recognise who was playing the game but also their movement and distance (something that proved difficult for other consoles). The methods listed for the depth tracking software include everything from a distance measuring laser to using the thermal signature of a person to determine how close / far away from the camera they are.

Combined with the depth measuring technology there also appears to be gesture recognition, something which could see you swirling your arms around like Iron man as you power up and play your favourite games.

Are you excited for the NX? We are excited to see how it will turn out and what rumours are included in the latest console from Nintendo!

Download and Play Ocarina of Time Death Mountain in Unreal Engine 4!

Why are you even reading this, quickly go and download it here (732.18MB) as it’s never that long before the Nintendo suits step in with a cease and desist to shut these projects down! Is it downloading yet? OK, let’s continue reading while you wait.

Talented modder CryZENx has recreated the iconic Death Mountain Crater from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as part of his ongoing experimental project based around Zelda Ocarina of Time, and he’s doing it all in the glorious Unreal Engine 4.

While this isn’t a full game recreation project, CryZENx is working on releasing various maps from within the Zelda universe, building them in Unreal Engine 4 and dialing up those lovely graphics settings along the way, leading to some spectacular results.

If you’re still waiting for your download, or you want to see what all the fuss is about before hand, then check out the video below, and you’ll see just how amazing Ocarina of Time would look in a modern game engine and running on a decent gaming PC. The end result just makes me wish Nintendo would drop out of the console business and start making PC games, now that would be a glorious turn of events.

Have you downloaded this demo yet? Let us know what you think about it in the comments section below. Don’t forget to tell your friends so that they can play it too!

Play Your NES Games In 3D Thanks To This Emulator

Back before the likes of the Playstation and the Xbox, there was the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES for short. With classic games like Megaman and Super Mario Bros. bringing hours of enjoyment for anyone who played them. The classics can come back with the help of an emulator that lets you play your favourite NES games in 3D.

When it comes to playing old games these days, there is a tear down the middle. Some believe that the old games don’t have enough to keep up with the latest releases, stating that everything from the graphics to the gameplay missing everything that makes them fun. Others believe that a classic is a classic no matter what you do, it would seem that Geod Studios are a company who want to be somewhere in between.

Geod Studios have released a new emulator, titled 3DNES, which not only lets you play the classic Nintendo games but with the added bonus of 3D effects.

The emulator in question can be played from your web browser (provided that you are using Firefox) and means that childhood favourites like Megaman, Dr. Mario and even Castlevania are enjoyable in a whole new light.

Having grown up with these games, you can’t help but appreciate them and the fun they helped create, back then and even now. Giving them the 3D treatment is a nice twist, and is made all the better by the fact it’s been done right. Here’s hoping that Nintendo will take note and support this project!

Explore Google Maps As Link

When a game gets released there is normally a hype around, helped only by the extra content and materials that are released alongside it. From short videos or web series to limited edition events or releases, but rarely do you see external companies get involved but that’s what’s happened as Google has made it so you can explore Google Maps as Link, the brave adventurer.

The little hero is here to celebrate the release of the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD on the Wii U in Europe and North America today. If playing as the young adventurer isn’t enough for you, then you can now drag the little adventurer anywhere in the world on Google Maps.

As a person who grew up saving the kingdom of Hyrule, fighting off Mario and stopping the moon from destroying the clock tower, being able to do little things like drag Link over the ocean is strangely rewarding.

You will be able to explore with Link till the 10th, the day the game will release in Japan, so for five days feel free to go on adventures but don’t forget to pick up your copy of the game to experience the real adventure.

New Rumours About The Nintendo NX Have Been Revealed

Nintendo’s upcoming console, codenamed NX, is rumoured to arrive later this year and could feature a revolutionary handheld/home console hybrid design. This is pure speculation though and Nintendo has done their utmost to keep details of the NX confidential. I applaud this approach because it creates a web of intrigue and makes the official unveiling very exciting. Recently, new information regarding Nintendo’s upcoming console was revealed by Geno, and published by the website, DualPixels. Geno accurately predicted the latest Pokemon game announcements which suggests the leaked NX details might be credible. Here’s a detailed run-down of what Nintendo apparently has planned:

“I don’t have many details on the device itself but I do have some background for it and some PR techniques they will use for it. A thing to note about this device is that much of it’s production was started in 2014 and many of the stuff I list here was outlined by the late Satoru Iwata before his passing. Hence in the company, the NX is considered the last project of their late president. Employees since his passing utter a phrase at the end of meetings and during idea brainstorms which is “岩田のために!” which roughly translates “For Iwata!”

“The importance of this is that this “new” Nintendo is highly motivated in delivering a fantastic system and games, something that I quote from an employee “have not seen this much forward momentum on a project since they launched the original Famicom”.

  1. It has a wireless HDMI dongle that attaches flush to the back of the device. A user can pull it out and insert it into any display with a normal sized HDMI output and the devices uses an evolved version of the Wii U’s streaming tech to display in HD to the TV screen.
  2. Allegedly the analog controls for movement has small motors in them for full haptic feedback. Meaning if you control a character and hit a wall, the sticks move away from the direction of that wall to simulate running head first into it. This can also be used for jerking when firing a gun, taking damage, moving over rough terrain, ect.
  3. It can literally Bluetooth synch with everything, especially smart phone and tablets to the point where one feature is that it can answer phone calls and display text messages from your phone onto the screens itself so you don’t have to stop and answer your smart device.
  4. The closest in terms of “power” it gets to is the Xbox One, but an app idea is Wii U x50 and Playstation Vita x100. The key is that all the tech is exactly the same hardware layout as the PS4 and Xbox One which then combine it with the OS’s strong emulation functions and compiler means that any game that can run of a Playstation 4 or Xbox One can easily run on the NX with near-zero modification to the original source code, especially if it runs in Android OS or Unreal Engine 4. This is allegedly why Nintendo has given out the dev kits so late, as one 3rd Party dev put it “It’s the easiest device we’ve ever developed for. You just take your code, compile it and it works.”
  5. Look to Pokemon GO to get the idea of the type of social features that will be in NX that will take multiplayer, AR and the StreetPass concept to a whole new level.
  6. The real strengths of the device is its usability and ease of use. Developers have described to me more than once that it visually and functionally looks as if “Samsung and the Nintendo 2DS” had a baby, in that it looks friendly but unlike what most people visualize a Nintendo device to typically look. The operating system, named NintendOS alone is very powerful and has so many modern features of mobile operating systems today that Nintendo is trying to be very careful in showing it off for fear that it would be mistaken as running Android. It also has a very strong networking functions as it ties into multiple devices and services allowing a very competent and pervasive eco-system designed to constantly involve the consumer’s lives.

As always, this could be pure fabrication, and it’s unknown what Nintendo’s new system entails. However, the source has been known to be accurate in the past. I’m slightly concerned by the power issue though because Nintendo needs to offer some additional graphical grunt to keep it relevant after the current console generation has subsided.

Developer “Guarantees Nintendo NX Won’t Have Third-Party Support”

Nintendo’s upcoming console codenamed, ‘NX’ is shrouded in secrecy, and no-one really knows what the latest device will entail. There are various rumours stemmed from patents which suggest the product will be a hybrid mobile/home console unit and create a brand new experience. Unfortunately, Nintendo’s previous effort, the Wii U, fared quite badly due to poor marketing and a lack of third-party support.

The Wii U branding confused consumers and made them believe it was an accessory for the original Wii. Furthermore, the console’s lacklustre power and strange launch date before the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 alienated third-party developers. It didn’t take long for key publishers including Ubisoft to discount the system because of the small user-base and terrible sales. This has been a major problem in the past few generations for Nintendo, as they rely too much on first party titles. While their IPs are incredible, the company cannot ignore third-party support for a prolonged period.

Despite this, it appears Nintendo hasn’t learnt anything from their mistakes, and could struggle to entice third-party developers to support the platform according to The Ori and the Blind Forest director, Thomas Mahler:

“This is actually THE singlest most annoying thing for every dev out there. We also talked to Nintendo and got absolutely nothing – I’ll never understand that. And just to be clear, it’s not just Nintendo, every hardware manufacturer is treating their devkits and their unreleased consoles like they’re the second coming and are insanely secretive about it to a stupid degree in todays time. It’s not even that the hardware isn’t finished (duh), but you could at least give me the goddamn specs, so we’d know what to build s**t for!”

“What’s needed to sell hardware is goddamn good software. With Nintendo not having any devkits out there at this point and probably even wanting to sell it in 2016, I can already guarantee that they’ll just not have any software support, since nobody can just jumble games together in less than a year. I mean, you can, but it’ll be garbage.”

“The same is true for Engine Support – Get Unity and Epic to support these consoles WAAAAY ahead of release. By the time the console launches, it should be EASY for developers to develop games for these systems, things shouldn’t just only start at this point. I want the goddamn devkits or at least proper hardware specs ideally 2 years before release – Keep all the developers updated, start a forum where devs can chat and figure out all the problems everyone’s having, instead of everyone just having to deal with it. None of that’s happening anywhere and it’s just braindamaged.”

If this is the case, Nintendo really doesn’t understand the current market, and cannot rely on their first party games forever. There will be a point when dedicated Nintendo fans begrudge the lack of third-party games and need to purchase another console to access other titles. Clearly, this might not be true and an example of a developer venting frustrations online. However, it doesn’t look good, and raises questions about Nintendo’s management.

Dolphin Emulator Now Has DirectX 12 Support

DirectX 12 is a low-level API which has the potential to allow for console-like optimization across a wide range of PC hardware. While it’s still early days, there’s a great deal of excitement surrounding games with plans to use Microsoft’s revolutionary API. For example, Quantum Break is a DirectX 12 exclusive so it will be fascinating to see the performance numbers on various setups. Additionally, there are rumours circulating which suggests that Rise of the Tomb Raider might receive a DirectX 12 patch. On another note, the Vulkan API is an open source alternative supporting Windows 7, 8.1, 10, Linux, Android and more! Competition is vital to push technology forward, and it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities to see emulators adopt both APIs.

Dolphin is one of the most promising emulators and allows users to play Gamecube and Wii games! This is a fantastic project because it’s possible to experience iconic Nintendo games at high resolutions. On the original hardware, the output resolution is quite limiting and features a really murky look on modern Televisions. As always, it’s incredibly difficult to create a working emulator with low hardware demands. Currently, Dolphin works very well using the DirectX 11 but there’s some room for improvement.

The user “hdcmeta” on the Dolphin forums, has created a DirectX 12 backend which exhibits performance improvements of up to 50%:

“Generally, graphics-intensive games get a nice win, while (Gamecube CPU)-bound games (Zelda OOT from the ‘bonus disk’ is a good example) are the same – graphics wasn’t on the critical path there. At higher resolutions, graphics becomes more important, so the relative improvement can increase there. In general, CPU usage is now much lower for the same workload relative to DX11/OpenGL.”

Here we can see the percentile difference between DirectX 11, DirectX 12, and OpenGL:

 

This is astonishing and showcases the kind of optimization on low-mid range hardware. I’m interested to see if the performance increases scale in a similar fashion on higher end GPUs. Whatever the case, it seems DirectX 12 has a major benefit in emulators and this is going to be great news for anyone wanting to play older Nintendo games in glorious detail.

Pokémon Starts Celebrations For 20th Anniversary With Legendary Giveaway

Pokémon has become Nintendo’s most well-known franchise, spanning generations of children and pocket monsters, the dream of children all over the world was to capture all the creatures and become the Pokémon master. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the release of the first games and Nintendo wants to make it a big deal. Starting with their latest generation of games.

After announcing the re-release of classic trading cards, Nintendo wants you to celebrate a thousand different ways including new games and additions to some old ones. Every month between now and December you’ll be able to enjoy a new legendary Pokémon on X, Y, Alpha Sapphire and Omega Red.

In the month of February, you can add the first legendary Pokémon to your collection. Mew, the original legendary Pokémon, will join your party. If you want to add Mew to your collection you will need to visit Game in the UK, Gamestop in the US and EBGames in Canada. Ask at the counter for a code for Mew which you can then add via the Mystery gift option before you load into the game.

With everything from Mew and Celebi to the god Pokémon, Arceus, collecting the entire series will soon be possible, legends and all.

Macronix is Supplying Memory For The Nintendo NX

Nintendo’s upcoming console, codenamed NX is receiving a barrage of media attention as speculation mounts regarding the device’s form factor. The majority of these reports stem from a number of patents which make for very interesting reading. In theory, Nintendo could be creating a hybrid device which works with PCs, mobiles and tablets. Furthermore, it’s rumoured to run the latest version of Android, and could allow more freedom than you typically expect from Nintendo. The Wii U and 3DS are both region locked and this even applies to digital content! Hopefully, Nintendo now understands how the global market works today and going to adopt a more consumer-friendly approach.

The latest piece of news revolves around Macronix International, a manufacturer of non-volatile memory. During an online Q4 2015 financial results conference, the company’s president C.Y. Lu weighed in on the current ROM business and claimed one of their biggest partners is preparing for a next generation platform. The company confirmed that the partner in question is Nintendo, and the platform in question is the NX console. Here we can see a slide from the presentation:

According to a Yahoo (Chinese) financial stock article translated by ConsoleFood, the NX is a key part of Macronix’s future plans:

“Japanese video-game company Nintendo will launch their new NX system this year. Macronix’s General Manager (CY Lu) said that Macronix will supply products for the NX and has considerable expectations regarding this.

Macronix held an online conference this afternoon. Due to Nintendo releasing their new NX system this year, investors were concerned about whether Macronix (who have a longstanding business relationship with Nintendo) will be part of the NX supply chain.

CY Lu stated that Macronix will provide memory units for the NX and, internally, has considerable expectations regarding the NX.

Despite refusing to disclose whether they will supply the NX with ROM, CY Lu did say that he expects ROM sales to be outstanding this year.”

So what does this actually mean? It’s still fairly unclear, but there’s the potential for games ship via cartridges instead of optical media. This makes sense due to the advent of affordable high-capacity storage. Furthermore, there’s no need to complete a lengthy install which should enhance the user-experience. On another note, optical drives are the mostly likely component to fail, so ditching a drive completely will help reliability.

The New Nintendo NX Controller Looks Seriously Weird!

The upcoming Nintendo NX is shaping up to be a strange beast, at least if a patent for the devices controller are anything to go by. If industry rumours are anything to go by, we know it’s going to be powerful, although with two, going on three years, between the NX and the current crop of games consoles, Nintendo have an advantage of more GPU powerful hardware per dollar to work with. Although, let’s be honest, it doesn’t take a flipping rocket scientist to guess that it’ll be powered by some kind of AMD/GPU/APU hybrid, AMD has that market sealed up pretty tight.

The new patent filings don’t fill me with confidence that Nintendo is learning from this past mistakes. The patent covers a controller which has a display on it, with two holes, most likely to allow for analogue sticks to pass through it. This is a much more refined object compared to the gargantuan Wii U tablet controller, and given that this looks like a relatively normal controller shape, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. What worries me is that Nintendo are likely still pushing into the gimmick end of the spectrum. The price of this controller could be high, limiting it to one per console, like we had with the Wii U tablet controller.

The tech sounds awesome, but the real world applications could cause a lot of headaches that you just won’t have with a simple plug and play controller. If Nintendo wants to capture the hardcore gaming crowd from their rivals, or multi-platform titles, it’s something they’ll need to address. Of course, I’m speculating on a rumour, so take it all with a pinch or three of salt.

If this is the real controller, it’s a huge improvement over the days of waving your arms, so that’s a good start.

Minecraft is Coming to The Wii U on December 17th

Minecraft provides a canvass to allow people’s creativity to flourish in a thoroughly addictive manner. Its success has been helped by YouTube tutorial videos and made some of these video makers quite wealthy. On another note, Minecraft can be used in schools as an educational tool. Over the past few years, Minecraft has been released on a number of platforms including PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 3. In a rather unsurprising move, Minecraft is heading its way onto the Wii U and features multiple add-on packs by default. Not only that, the game utilizes off-TV play, so players can keep their creations going on the screen of the Wii U GamePad controller if another family member wants to watch something else on TV. Nintendo and Mojang are working together to bring a wide array of exclusive Wii U content in the future.

Here is a complete rundown of the bundled packs:

Battle & Beasts Skin Pack
Battle & Beasts 2 Skin Pack
Natural Texture Pack
City Texture Pack
Fantasy Texture Pack
Festive Mash-up Pack

The company will offer a huge array of optional DLC packs including:

1. Festive Skin Pack
2. The Simpsons Skin Pack
3. Doctor Who Skins Volume 1
4. Doctor Who Skins Volume 2
5. Star Wars Classic Skin Pack
6. Star Wars Rebels Skin Pack
7. Star Wars Prequel Skin Pack
8. Mass Effect Mash-up Pack
9. Skyrim Mash-up Pack
10. Plastic Texture Pack
11. Candy Texture Pack
12. Cartoon Texture Pack
13. Steampunk Texture Pack
14. Pattern Texture Pack
15. Greek Mythology Mash-up Pack
16. Halloween 2015 Mash-up Pack

This is great news for Wii U owners, but it’s not a major revelation as most people already own the game on at least one platform. Nevertheless, the Wii U gamepad’s touch screen interface might enhance the tactile experience and make it more enjoyable for children.

Gaming Industry Analyst Michael Pachter Doesn’t Expect The Nintendo NX to Arrive Next Year

Michael Pachter is possibly the only video game and electronics research analyst known to the public and renowned for making bold claims. As a result, he’s often ridiculed by the gaming community and every prediction he makes isn’t taken seriously. Despite this, Pachter has been talking more business sense of late and making accurate, if fairly generic predictions. During his own show, entitled, Pachter Factor“, Pachter was asked by a Siftd.net user:

“When do you predict the Nintendo NX will be released in the United States?”

He replied:

“I would say 20% chance it comes out in 2016 in the U.S., 80% chance it comes out in 2017. If you don’t see it before E3, there’s a 0% chance it’s coming out in 2016.”

While he’s not counting out the Wii U’s successor coming in 2016, it seems unlikely and would give the Wii U a respectable 5 year lifecycle. 2016 just seems far too early and Nintendo needs to focus on releasing a superb Zelda game for the Wii U. Although, I’m pretty sure it will also end up on the NX. On another note, we know absolutely nothing about the NX’s specification, form factor, and if Nintendo decides to drop physical media altogether. I hope not given the prices on the digital eShop store. Currently, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are struggling with modern games, so it’s an interesting time for the console market. Nintendo really wants to attract third-party support and this can only be done via serious hardware capable of matching or surpassing the current consoles.

Super Mario Bros. Anniversary Watch Costs $18,950

A lot of people are fans of Nintendo and their flagship character, Mario. And while the Super Mario Bros. franchise is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary since the original game released in Japan on the 13th of September 1985, luxury watch maker, Romain Jerome are showing their appreciation with a limited edition watch dedicated to the portly plumber himself. But with a price tag of $18950, Mario fans will have to consider just how much they love Mario enough to put him on their wrists.

Romain Jerome are no strangers to producing classic game themed watches, with Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Tetris watches already under their belts. They also put a lot of effort into properly replicating the pixellated style of the old games, making use of a 3 layering technique to accurately recreate the figure of Mario, as well as a mushroom, bush and cloud, all rendered brightly coloured using enamel. The watch isn’t quite fancy enough to add motion to the figures, but they are an impressive recreation nonetheless. The ensemble is all wrapped in a 45mm case of black titanium, with large lugs allowing the strap to move comfortably.

For those of you undeterred by the price of this retro-gaming timepiece, you’d better hurry, only 85 watches will be produced. You’d better move fast if you really want Mario on your wrist.

Credit to Romain Jerome

Nicalis Founder Claims The Wii U Isn’t Much More Powerful Than The PlayStation Vita

Since the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo’s consoles haven’t been the most powerful systems on the market. However, in the wider scheme of things, this doesn’t necessarily matter given Nintendo’s incredible line-up of first-party exclusives. Even the Wii had a great selection of hidden gems, and iconic classics such as The Last Story. On another note, it’s easy to forget the Nintendo Gamecube is technically more powerful than Sony’s PlayStation 2.

Clearly, the Wii U is underpowered which resulted in a complete lack of third-party support. Arguably, this impacted on the system’s sales figures and made the console perform extremely poorly. On the other hand, Wii U owners are generally very happy with the console and purchased it for Nintendo’s core line-up. According to Tyrone Rodriguez, founder of Nicalis, the Wii U is only slightly more powerful than the PlayStation Vita:

This isn’t a shocking revelation given the Wii U’s fairly mediocre technical specification. To reiterate, this doesn’t really matter providing Nintendo’s core software line-up is strong. While the Wii U is lacking in games, the titles on the system are overwhelmingly fantastic from Bayonetta 2 to Mario Kart 8. It’s all well and good having a good specification, but on consoles, the software line-up is vital.

Currently, Rodriguez is working on the Binding of Issac: Rebirth for current generation consoles and struggling due to technical limitations:

Honestly, this is just another example of a developer making public outbursts on social media. While his point has some validity, the manner in which he’s voiced this opinion is only bound to cause unnecessary drama. Furthermore, Xenoblade Chronicles X is a Wii U exclusive which contains a map larger than Skyrim, Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3 combined! This really puts Rodriguez’s comments into perspective and outlines the importance of software optimization. While he might be a champion for the PlayStation Vita, Sony has pretty much abandoned first-party support for the system.